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Reading Culture Awards 2018 - Under 25s Talent of the Year!

Over a month ago we were proud to announce that JMA Performing Arts had been nominated and shortlisted for two Reading Culture Awards; the top awards for the Arts in Reading. On the 27th June, all dressed in black and yellow (our official colours), a group of our students set off for the Olympia Ballroom for the final ceremony where we would find out how we did. We had also been asked to sing on the night, and help out with hosting the event.

Once the audience started to arrive, our students jumped into action meeting VIPs, chatting about our school and delivering drinks to guests standing in the queue to get in. The evening started and we were up first to sing. We sang two songs including our favourite "Winter Trees" achieving a standing ovation! Then it was time to hear the awards. The two we were nominated for were "Best Education Project" and "Under 25s Talent of the Year". This year there had been over 800 nominations from across Reading from all the arts events, festivals and organisations, including many of the schools and colleges.

Our first nomination came very quickly in the evening, in fact in was the third of the evening and to our surprise and delight we were crowned "Best Under 25s Talent!". The judges commended us on the sheer number and complexity of our performances and made specific reference to a number of big successes during the year; including Dusseldorf, Choir of the Year and Reading Fringe Festival - pick of the Fringe. They said they were impressed by the way we take risks with our shows and don't just do the normal school productions. We were, of course, delighted and humbled by the praise we received from all while taking to the stage.

Although we missed out on the second of our nominations, we did get a special mention in the " Business Partnership" Award, which was won by Reading Bus, a company we have worked with on a number of occasions this year.

In the end we showed the great and good of Reading just what we can do and what we can achieve in the Performing Arts. We are now officially the best Under 25s Performing Arts group in Reading and we are very proud!